How is dementia treated?

How dementia is treated depends on the type of dementia the person has. Most types gradually get worse over time, with no cure, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any treatments available. 

Sometimes, medicines may help stop symptoms getting worse – at least for a while. These treatments are often used in the early and middle stages, where they can help the sufferer stay independent.

It’s common for those living with dementia to develop depression, so your local GP may prescribe antidepressant medication.

According to, the following medications can be prescribed for those living with mild, moderate and severe dementia. However, it’s important to note that not everyone will benefit from these drugs. Everyone is different.

Aricept (donepezil) and other acetylcholinesterase inhibitors

Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (such as galantamine and rivastigmine) are used to treat mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. They can also be used to treat dementia with Lewy bodies, and can be particularly effective at treating hallucinations.

Memantine hydrochloride

Memantine is a medicine that works by blocking the effects of a chemical in the brain. It is used to treat severe Alzheimer’s disease.


Antipsychotics are a group of medicines designed to help people with certain mental illnesses. However, they are sometimes used to treat dementia sufferers, particularly if they are very anxious or exhibiting disruptive behaviour.

These drugs aren’t perfect though and have to be used with care as they sometimes cause complications for people with dementia.

The best treatment for dementia is love and support from family, friends and healthcare professionals. A positive attitude can help loved ones feel uplifted and remain socially active can help stimulate brain function.